Saturday, July 9, 2011

My mother, the saint

My mother should be a saint. Technically, she can't be canonized until years after she dies. There may be a few things against her case for sainthood. She was against the Vietnam War- and actively protested it. She left a parish because she couldn't take the tyrannical rule of the pastor. And she didn't try to reclaim some of her own children back to Catholicism once they found a better way for themselves.

These minor infractions would never tip the scales beyond favorable vote. This woman suffered. She was the first born daughter to a man who wished for a son. She spent a major part of her childhood proving her worth to him. She was the first in her family to attend college.

She married a loud, vivacious Italian from a ridiculously enormous family. She was chastised for birthing her first child seven months after she married. I don't believe a nine+ pound baby counts as premature. She had four more children in the the next five years.

Her fourth child contracted spinal meningitis while being treated in the hospital for a high fever. She watched her 10 month old baby go through blood transfusions and two spinal taps. She turned to her prayer circles many times in her life. Up until this time in her life, she never prayed as hard.

Until her husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her youngest child was only four years old. She managed to keep her head together through all stages of her husband's decline. Miraculously, she didn't kill any of her self-absorbed children when they became teenagers, or as she taught each of them how to drive.

She found a way to afford catholic school tuition for all of us. We also got to participate in extra curricular activities. I have NO idea how she found the money. She sewed all of our prom dresses. She served on boards for clubs, churches, and her own civic interests.

She dragged us to church. She enjoyed going to early mass when we came home later than curfew; more than a little pickled. She'd bring us to work with her to see the patients. We volunteered at church with her, stuffing bulletins while she counted the offering.

She never gave up. She never had days when she just cashed in, or escaped into long naps or ran away. I only saw her cry in despair once.

I read stories of saints who's only record of good work was praying. Seriously?

If there is anyone who should be so honored, it's my mom. If not by her own life, she could be automatically beatified if one of her children is canonized.

Yeah, right.

#23 of 90in90 for #LUBlogTribe

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